Torrance Family Finds Success at El Camino College

Torrance Family Finds Success at El Camino College

First Year Experience program provides West High School grads guidance in enrollment process

When it came time to enroll her three children in college, Rhonda Hoff took her friend’s advice and looked into the First Year Experience (FYE) program at El Camino College. An ECC grad herself, Hoff was familiar with the college’s outstanding academic offerings, but she also discovered the college’s FYE program, which offers personalized attention and guidance with all aspects of the enrollment process and throughout the academic year.

Her son Austin now has one semester more to complete his associate degree in economics and plans to transfer to a university in the spring. Twin daughters Jenna and Laina just graduated from West High School in Torrance and are now ECC freshmen.

“A friend told me about the First Year Experience program – all three of her kids went through the program and were so successful,” said Hoff, a Torrance native who transferred to California State University, Long Beach after graduating from El Camino College. “Now that Austin has been in the program for two years, I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s all so wonderful; the support from the counselors has been amazing.”

Designed to help students be successful in their first year of college, El Camino College’s FYE program regularly boasts top graduation, transfer and retention rates, while providing a supportive environment complete with academic and career services. Participating students have access to early registration, orientation, strategies for success in college, field trips, and peer mentors.

The FYE program is recognized throughout the state and is a California Community College Chancellor’s Office Student Success Award honoree. The FYE also runs a summer reading and writing academy to help students reduce the number of basic and development courses they need to take by scoring higher on placement tests. After completing the academy, the vast majority of students in the program are able to move up at least one class level – saving time and money.

“The support students have through FYE is great and it’s not just counseling, it is everything,” Hoff added. “You learn how to register for classes, how to figure out what classes to take and they even help pinpoint what you might want to major in.

“Counselors walk students through how to do it all themselves, sharing other information along the way, such as the importance of checking emails and meeting deadlines. And also, college fees for three children is astronomical – it just made good financial sense to choose El Camino College. I am truly happy with the whole experience.”

For more information about ECC, including the award-winning First Year Experience program, visit or make a custom eBrochure at


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